“I prayed for this child, and the Lord granted my request.”
1 Samuel 27″
Nowadays children are often seen as either a commodity (in-vitro fertilization) or as a burden (contraception and abortion) to be avoided at all costs. Pregnancy is sometimes seen as an inconvenient sickness which can be fixed with abortion.
In 28 years of using NFP (Natural Family Planning), admittedly we have not consciously thought of having a baby every time we engaged in the marital embrace. But we have also never used contraception or contraceptive behaviors. We trust God. And we have discovered that He is always trustworthy.
Years ago, when our third son was a year old, I became pregnant with an ectopic pregnancy and because of complications, nearly hemorrhaged to death.
We were advised by the doctors and others not to have any more children because having more children “would be irresponsible.” However, after a year of prayerful discernment, we felt God calling us to be open and to seek another pregnancy. We discussed it with our spiritual director, consulted with a Catholic doctor, and eventually made the decision to actively seek another pregnancy.
Surprisingly, we did not become pregnant for a year and a half. Each day became a prayer stronger and deeper. When we finally realized that we were pregnant, we were happy, but it soon turned into an extremely difficult pregnancy. When I began to suffer debilitating migraine headaches, I was told by the well-meaning friends and relatives that “I had asked for it.”
Our fourth son, Adam, was born at nearly 10 pounds. Three years later, our fifth son, Paul, was born.
Although we could have used NFP to avoid pregnancy permanently and to limit our family size to three sons, we chose to listen to our hearts, to answer God’s calling, and to seek more children. When I consider that our two youngest sons might possibly not be here today, my heart becomes heavy. Both are unique, talented and irreplaceable human beings who have already given so much to our family and to society. I am grateful to God, because I can’t imagine our family without them.
“God, help us to trust our lives to You, not only in the area of sexual relations, but in every facet of our lives. Help us to grow together in unity and help us to love each other unconditionally.”
Copyright 2010 Ellen Gable Hrkach